Overcoming Obstacles: Walt Disney

By: Brendan Rakes, Caleigh Duesing, and Karleigh Payne

Early Life

Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Hermosa Chicago, Illinois. As a young boy he had to start working different jobs to help his family earn money. Since Disney’s family was always moving, he was forced to repeat the second grade, and only had a education until the eighth grade. He grew up with his 4 other siblings Roy, Herbert, Raymond and Ruth. One of the jobs Walt had to get when he was a young boy was working for a newspaper with his sister. He ended up getting fired from the job, being told he wasn’t creative enough to work there. When Walt got older he faked his age and went to work for the American Ambulance Corps in France. When he was in France he would draw cartoons and sell them to earn some money, Walt would also try to get his cartoons into a newspaper in France but they would also be rejected. After he spent a year in France he came back to the U.S and got a job at a Kansas animation studio. He started learning animation from a book which then started his career as an animator.

Walt Disney "The Animator"

After learning how to animate he moved to Hollywood with his brother Roy to start the famous Disney Bros. Studios. With Disney’s new career path he began to start working with a cartoonist again, who would work with his original sketches and adapt them. Together they created the character of Mickey Mouse, who would soon become the world’s most popular cartoon character, surpassing many of the other top cartoons. Disney received many awards for his cartoons, but still wanted to be bigger and better. He soon created the animated film of “Snow White” and “ Disney’s Folly”. Many thought these films would be the downfall of Disney but what they didn’t know is that this would be considered his “Golden Age”.

Walt Disney (speech)

Opening Disneyland

With all the success Disney was having in his animation career he decided to open a children’s theme park. Little did Disney know, it would take him 5 years to just develop the idea. Time came to build the park, and Disney realized that he did not have enough to fund it, so he decided to raise money through a television network to help pay for the costs. When Disneyland officially opened on July 15, 1955, Walt Disney had a live broadcast on television letting others know that Disneyland was their land and he hoped it would be a source of joy and inspiration to the whole world. 11 years after Disneyland was opened, Walt Disney, on December 15, 1966, died of lung cancer. Although Disney’s life ended, his brother Roy carried on his legacy in everything he did.

Famous Quotes of Walt Disney

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible. "


“ We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. "

Life Theme

Walt Disney's life was a roller coaster of success and failure and at the end payed off with one of the biggest franchises in the world. From getting kicked out of his own house to opening his own amusement park walt never stopped planning for the future. Walt Disney wanted to take something away from the world and let others know that it's ok to try something different and follow the path you want to take.

Conflict and Resolution


Walt Disney had to face many different conflicts to be able to be as successful as he was and still is. Walt was once told he was not creative enough to make it as an animator, but he wanted to prove everyone wrong. He then became one of the most well known children’s animators of all time, who although is gone, is still remembered today. In order to achieve Walt’s goal of becoming an animator he had to overcome many obstacles along the way. Walt’s parents and occasionally his friends would try to tell him he couldn’t do something, but he never let them tear him down. Walt was able to overcome all of his obstacles and achieve what many people would of thought was impossible, without having a negative outlook on life.